Westerly Did Not Pass Ordinance Last Night

The Westerly Town Council did not proceed with the ordinance last night.  They were particularly concerned with patient and caregiver privacy issues and conflicts with state law. They were receptive to our concerns.  They talked about having a workshop to further understand the issues and then they could redraft the ordinance. No timetable was given.


Reminder – Hearing on MMj Bills Tomorrow

There will be a hearing before the House Committee on Judiciary tomorrow, 4/12/16 at 4pm at the State House room 101. This hearing is NOT about the Governor’s proposal but on the House bills. You will find a list  with descriptions by scrolling down on this website.   If you plan to testify, please be aware that this will be a long hearing that will take place over the course of hours. There is no way to know at present whether a particular bill will be heard at 4pm or at 8pm. It’s a good idea to bring water and a snack. In previous years, we have been there until 11pm.  Please dress appropriately and it’s important to remember that outbursts hurt us. It can be very difficult to sit in silence when a speaker is saying something that we find outrageous and/or false. But yelling out is not permitted and the committee members do not appreciate it. You must wait for your turn to speak. Because it is a long hearing, speakers will likely be limited to a couple of minutes. You can also submit written testimony. You can send it to:joanne@ripatients.org and we will get it to the Committee.    Thank you

Hearing on MMj Bills – Tuesday, April 12

There will be a public hearing before the House Committee on Judiciary on Tuesday, April 12 at 4PM, Room 101, on this year’s cannabis  bills. The bills pertaining to the medical program cover a wide range of issues that would, if enacted, add PTSD as a qualifying condition, ban patients and caregivers from making BHO and using any flammable gas as a solvent, increase the possession amounts of dried usable cannabis, define “dried” mmj, define and create possession limits for “immature” plants, eliminate 12 seedling limit, strengthen protections for patients facing employment discrimination, and double the number of compassion centers. Here’s the list:

House Bill No. 7142.  Adds post-traumatic stress disorder as a qualifying condition for the MMj Program and accelerates MMj applications for patients in hospice care. For full text: http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText16/HouseText16/H7142.pdf

House Bill No. 7802 (Attorney General’s bill) Prohibits a patient or caregiver cardholder from manufacturing marijuana using a solvent process that includes the use of a flammable gas as a solvent, but allows compassion centers to manufacture in accordance with DOH rules. For full text: http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText16/HouseText16/H7802.pdf

House Bill No. 7803   Increases the amounts of marijuana that non-residential co-op can have from 10 ounces to 160 ounces and residential co-op from 10 ounces to 80 ounces. For full text:  http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText16/HouseText16/H7803.pdf

 House Bill No. 7804 Provides definition of term “dried” MMj as having moisture content of 10% or less. For full text: http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText16/HouseText16/H7804.pdf

House Bill No. 7806 Adds and provides a definition for an immature marijuana plant as “marijuana plant with no observable flowers or buds that is more than eight inches (8″) tall and eight inches (8″) wide”.   Changes definition of seedling to unusable plant that is no taller than eight inches (8″) and no wider than eight inches (8″) that is in a cultivating container and shall not count towards the plant limits. For full text:  http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText16/HouseText16/H7806.pdf

House Bill No. 7805 Increases the amount of usable dried MMj that a patient can have to 5 ounces. Caregivers could have 5 ounces per patient (caregiver with 5 patients could have 25 ounces). Patients could have 12 “immature plants”. Caregiver would be allowed 12 “immature plants” if they have one registered patient and 24 immature plants if they have 2-5 patients.  Both patients and caregivers could have reasonable amount of seedlings (which would be defined as unusable). The number of mature plants would stay the same. For full text:  http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText16/HouseText16/H7805.pdf

House Bill No. 7807 Strengthens language in the anti-discrimination provision of the MMj Act, making it clear that employers cannot discriminate against MMj patients who test positive on pre-employment drug screen. Aggrieved patients could sue for injunctive relief, damages and, if they succeed, the employer would pay for patient’s attorney. Also clarifies that only the state law can regulate the MMj Program (not local cities and towns). For full text: http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText16/HouseText16/H7807.pdf

House Bill No. 7808 Increases number of compassion centers from 3 to 6.  Any new compassion centers approved after January 1, 2016, shall be disbursed geographically, to be located in Providence, Bristol, Newport, or Washington counties, with no more than one new compassion center in each county. For full text: http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText16/HouseText16/H7808.pdf

The following two bills do not directly pertain to the MMj Program will also be heard on Tuesday:

House Bill No. 7208 A civil penalty of $100 – $200 to be imposed on first or subsequent offenses for possession of marijuana. For full text:   http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText16/HouseText16/H7208.pdf

House Bill No. 7752 Tax and Regulate. Removes the state’s prohibition on adults using, possessing, and cultivating marijuana for personal use. Establishes a system of regulated marijuana retail distribution to adults 21 and older and imposes taxes at both the wholesale and retail level. For full text: http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText16/HouseText16/H7752.pdf